K-State Handles Illinois State Tuesday

MANHATTAN, Kan. Nine different Wildcats recorded hits and three Kansas State pitchers held Illinois State to just three total hits as the Wildcats cruised to a 10-3 win Tuesday night in the home finale at Tointon Stadium.


With the win, Kansas State moved to 33-19 overall on the season and is just two wins shy of tying the school record for wins, which was set back in 1976. The 33 current wins on the season are the most since the 1988 team won 34 games. Illinois State dropped to 20-29 after the loss.


K-State starter A.J. Morris (4-1) was masterful through six innings, which included retiring the final 13 batters he faced and 15 of the final 16 until being relieved to start the seventh. The redshirt freshman struck out a career-high six batters and allowed just one hit in one of his best outings of the season.


Todd Vogel and Justin Murray combined for the final three innings to close out the win. Illinois State starter Tyler Cox (3-1) was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits in 5.0 innings.


Illinois State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first as a leadoff single led to a two-out run as the Redbirds executed a first-and-third double steal with two outs. The Cats then tied the game in the second as Eli Rumler singled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. Tyler Link then drove in Rumler with the tying run on a groundout to second.


K-State took the lead at 2-1 in the fourth as Rumler walked and moved to third on a Ruch single to right. Ruch then stole second and Rumler scored his second run of the game as the pitch went all the way to the backstop. Adam Muenster’s run-scoring single through the left side in the fifth scored Derek Bunker and Byron Wiley’s sacrifice fly scored Brett Scott, who had singled, as the Wildcats took a 4-1 lead.


Bunker’s two-out drag bunt that stayed just fair down the third base line scored Rumler in the sixth as Kansas State extended its lead to 5-1. Ruch’s RBI-single in the seventh and Wiley’s two-run double in the eighth highlighted the two-run seventh and three-run eighth innings for K-State.


The Redbirds cut into the lead with two runs in the eighth but Murray struck out two batters in the ninth to end the game.


Rumler led the Wildcat offense with four runs scored and was officially 1-for-1 on the night, while Bunker and Ruch each had two hits. Muenster went 1-for-4 with two runs scored as he extended his current hitting streak to a team-best seven games.


Kansas State travels to Waco, Texas, for the final Big 12 regular season series at Baylor this weekend. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark.